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Sanlam’s 2014 income study – winners and losers

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Royal London Asset Management has come out top in Sanlam Private Investments' UK Equity income fund study.

Every year, Sanlam aggregates performance, volatility and income distributed over the past five years. According to the most recent survey, Martin Cholwill’s Royal London UK Equity Income, which was yielding 3.6 per cent at the end of 2014, has recorded a net income of 26 per cent over the last five years, with a volatility of 3.4.

“Martin Cholwill has read both the economy and the stock market extremely well through 2014”, said Charles Brand, the study’s author.

“A bias towards medium-sized companies in economically sensitive areas of the market has moved his Royal London UK Equity Income fund up a further two places to claim the top spot.”

Royal London UK replaces Unicorn Income, which saw the death of manager John McClure in June last year. Unicorn Income does, however, retain its position in the White List, at number seven.

Brand commented that this fall “appears more a function of underperformance from the small cap sector the fund invests in, rather than due to the change of management.”

The highest new entrant on the list was the Evenlode Income, managed by Hugh Yarrow and Ben Peters.

“The fund focuses on high quality names; businesses they see as offering an attractive combination of high and growing cash flows and low fundamental business risk,” Brand said. “The team has done an excellent job of generating an attractive reward from relatively low-risk business.”

George Luckraft’s AXA Framlington Monthly Income fund is another high new entrant on the White List at fifth spot.

“Just over half the fund is invested outside of the FTSE 100; smaller companies, such as FTSE Fledgling index stocks, are included,” Brand commented. “This brings some liquidity concerns, but as the fund is a modest £137 million in size, there are not excessive at this time.”

Other new entries on the White List include the Trojan Income fund, managed by Troy’s Francis Brooke, and Stephen Message’s Old Mutual UK Equity Income. Jupiter Income and Newton Higher Income were promoted to the Grey List.

To accommodate new entrants, the JOHCM UK Equity Income, Schroder UK Alpha Income, RBS Equity Income and Invesco Perpetual Income & Growth dropped from the White List into the Grey List. Aberdeen found a number of its funds (Aberdeen UK Equity Income, Aberdeen UK Equity Dividend and Scottish Widows UK Equity Income) on the Black List following its acquisition of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership.

BlackRock UK Income ranked top of the Black List for the fourth year running, but “has been the third best performer in the study over the last year,” Brand noted.

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